EA, Nintendo, Disney and Activision have published their latest financial results and it is good news for almost everyone.
Nintendo are the black sheep of this year and are still having a hard time shifting the Wii U. They have reported a loss of 23.2 billion yen ($228.6 million) for the fiscal year ended March 31st 2014. 2.72 million Wii U units were sold over the last 12 months taking the total to 6.17 million units. 18.9 million software units were sold during the last fiscal year, “Software sales did not grow sufficiently,” noted Nintendo.
But hey, Mario Kart 8 is out soon and Nintendo expect to shift 3.6 million Wii Us this year, which sounds rather ridiculous to me when they are facing competition from not one but two consoles from both Microsoft and Sony. It’s not all doom and gloom though, sales of the 3DS continue to soar with 12.24 million of the blighters sold in the last fiscal year along with 12.26 million copies of Pokemon X/Y .
Onto EA then, they have made $2.23 billion this last fiscal year, slightly down on last year but still a very nice sum indeed. They also revealed an unannounced Frostbite-powered PlayStation 4 and Xbox One game for release later this year but refused to comment on wether it was a new IP or an existing franchise. The company will “continue its relationship” with Titanfall creators Respawn Entertainment and will bring “new Titanfall experiences” (read: Titanfall 2) to gamers across the globe.
As for sales of Titanfall itself EA would only say that 925,000 Xbox One units have been sold in North America and the Xbox 360 version is “off to a great start”. Remember that Microsoft have forked out a small fortune for exclusivity so even with relatively low sales EA will be laughing all the way to the bank.
It has also been revealed the Need for Speed franchise will have a rest this year. “Our concept of what makes a game today has changed,” said EA CEO Andrew Wilson. “We are designing games for long-term experiences.” Star Wars: Battlefront is “coming along very well” and will be revealed at E3 along with the mystery next-gen game.
EA CFO Blake Jorgensen predicted that digital revenue would make up half of EA’s total revenue in fiscal year 2014, a fair chunk of that coming from mobile games.
Disney hid its gaming financials in the midst of a report for the entire company but they seem to be doing well, with operating results improved from a loss of $54 million last year to a profit of $14 million for 2013. The majority of the profit came from their Skylander-baiting console game, Disney Infinity.
Finally we move on to Activision Blizzard who have met with a slight dip in net revenues, down to $1.11 billion compared to $1.32 billion for the first quarter of 2013. They will be paying out $0.20 per share which by calculations should make Mr Kotick a healthy $1m on his stake in the company.
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft has done surprisingly well but World of Warcraft itself has seen yet another decline in subscribers.
Call of Duty: Ghosts is the best selling game on the new generation consoles but has been beaten on last-gen by Skylanders. Kotick said Destiny will become the company’s next billion dollar franchise and will be the largest new video game IP launch in history with a marketing budget of $500 million. Pre-orders, accordingly to Activisions internal tracking system, are the largest there has ever been for a new IP.
The company has stated that it thinks this years profits will come from six key titles; Destiny, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Skylanders TRAP TEAM, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, Heathstone and the Warlords of Dreanor expansion for Warcraft. No mention of Spider-Man or Transformers at all, I wonder how long they will remain with Bob Kotick and friends?
One final piece of business news, we normally stay away from analyst predictions but International Data Corporation is convinced Microsoft will unbundle Kinect from Xbox One next year. They also predict the PS4 will continue to dominate this generation, although the gap will be minimal by the end of 2016.